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Argentina Fires Top Admiral after Submarine Tragedy

 Argentina fired the head of its navy Admiral Marcelo Eduardo Hipólito Sru  a month after a submarine disappeared in the South Atlantic with 44 crew members onboard, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

This was the first known disciplinary action taken by President Mauricio Macri’s administration since contact was lost with the ARA San Juan on Nov. 15.

Families of the crew members criticized Macri’s government for not clearly communicating with them and for abandoning rescue efforts.

 The navy said on Nov. 27 that water that entered the submarine’s snorkel caused its battery to short-circuit before it went missing. The navy had previously said international organizations detected a noise that could have been the submarine’s implosion the same day contact was lost.

Hope of rescuing survivors was abandoned on Nov. 30. The navy said it searched for double the amount of time the submarine would have had oxygen. An international search for the submarine is still underway.

Adm Srur, 60, was appointed by President Macri in January 2016.

President Mauricio Macri has created a special independent commission to investigate the disappearance of the submarine, following criticism about the handling of the operation.

The commission will comprise three submariners - one the father of one of the disappeared crew.

Defence Minister Oscar Aguad has promised the investigation will be "transparent" and will have an unlimited budget.


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